It’s that time of year again when many of us feel the desire to get in shape, and you may feel tempted to sign up to a gym this January (2023).
If you want your membership to be successful, then there are at least three things your gym should be offering, according to German health awareness foundation Stiftung Gesundheitswissen.
Here’s what you should be looking out for on your trial day at the fitness studio.
> Individual support
Which machines are right for me? How many repetitions should I be doing on the leg press?
To answer these questions, you first need to find out how fit you are.
You should be assessed by a professional sports expert, who will measure your stamina, strength and flexibility.
Ideally, you would then be given an individual training plan that is tailored to your athletic goals.
A fitness trainer should also show you the exercises and explain the gym’s equipment during this appointment.
> Qualified staff
Try to find out what kind of training and experience the gym’s staff have.
They should be qualified to ensure you are cared for well, as poor techniques can quickly lead to injury.
The staff might have a sports science degree, or be trained as a sports or gymnastics teacher, or as a physiotherapist.
> A range of training equipment
You may have one specific health goal when joining a gym, but a lasting membership should be about more than just building muscles or endurance training.
You want to be able to improve your endurance, strength and flexibility through your training at the gym, which will need to have a range of equipment for each area.
Cross trainers, treadmills and bicycle ergometers help for endurance training.
For strength, for example, you’ll want weights, and for flexibility, look for wall bars, mats and wobble boards.
A good gym should also offer enough space, so see whether the training area is divided into different areas, and if the machines are in a separate place from the dumbbells for example, or if there is a separate area for people to do stretching exercises. – dpa